Now that AMD Ryzen has been out for a while and things have settled down from launch a little, we have been taking a look at multiple X370 motherboards in depth and today was the turn of the flagship motherboard from ASUS Republic of Gamers, the ROG CROSSHAIR VI HERO! The Hero, like it’s Intel Z270 compatriot, is feature packed and has tons of things going for it, but is it enough to make me happy…I haven’t exactly been easily pleased of late, but the Hero kept me on my toes so to speak!
When compared to all the other X370 motherboards we have reviewed and tested, the Hero is the best board thus far and given the specifications, the features included and the high-quality components used in the manufacturing, it’s not exactly surprising. CPU performance when using our Ryzen 7 1700 8 core processor was superb and this particular board is well suited to those wanting to squeeze every last bit of possible performance from it, thanks to the stable and smooth power delivery of the 12 phase socket design. One very solid aspect to the CROSSHAIR VI HERO is the memory compatibility and out of all the boards tested so far, the Hero supported our memory without any tweaks like on other boards. Memory issues have been the bane of the X370 chipset (as our 3000MHz Ballistix Elite kits haven’t been playing nice) so it’s good to just slot them in, put the settings in and not have to worry about anything. I would expect everyone else to feel the same way as no-one likes unnecessary complications when building their PC. Memory problems can be very frustrating; nice to see ASUS ROG getting it completely right in this regard here.
I was a big fan of the look and aesthetics of the ROG MAXIMUS IX HERO Z270 motherboard and that translates well across to the AMD side with the X370 Hero; it looks good and with the RGB functionality, it allows you to make your own mark and stamp. I was a little critical of the ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming with it’s red and black theme and RGB, but I sincerely applaud ASUS for giving the CROSSHAIR VI Hero a simple black and grey theme which can blend into multiple colour schemes, as opposed to just one or two! On top of the onboard RGB, ASUS have included a further 2 x RGB headers which allow for ASUS AURA certified RGB LED strips to be plugged in to further enhance the design, look and overall aesthetic of your system.
I also like the implementation of the integrated ESS ES9023P DAC into the onboard audio set up and this not only enhances the quality of the audio delivered, but it means higher end headphones will sound much better over boards which just utilise the standard Realtek ALC1220 codec. The ES9023P supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback, which should give much wider clarity and a more defined sound with higher spec’d headphones/headsets. Even enthusiasts might be satisfied enough not to even contemplate getting a dedicated sound card; trust me, it’s not entirely needed as onboard has gotten better over the last couple of years!
The ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VI HERO can be picked up for £228.86 on offer @ Amazon UK currently at the time of writing this, which is fantastic value in retrospect compared to some of the other brand’s top end boards. In the US you can pick the CROSSHAIR VI HERO up for $254.99 at Amazon US which is a more truer reflection of the pricing you can expect from most retailers, which is still good in my opinion. Due to this, I am expecting further releases from ASUS ROG over the coming months on the X370/AM4 chipset, maybe even a Formula, but we will have to wait and see of course! Overall the value element is pretty good, but there are boards which do represent better value for money and the Hero is more of a high-end board with extra top rated features which in my opinion are certainly worth having, but strict budgeters might not have a spare £230-250 to spend.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the CROSSHAIR VI HERO is a top performing X370 motherboard and possibly one of the best, if not the best currently on AM4’s new chipset. There have been bugs and teething issues across the broad spectrum of X370, mainly due to AMD giving motherboard manufacturers literally no time before launch to refine and tweak things and this caused havoc at launch. Now that there is at least some handle on the glaring issues, it’s allowed motherboards to come into their true element through new BIOS updates and there has been no board so far that has done so much for me than the ROG CROSSHAIR VI HERO; it’s just simply brilliant. More than deserves our gold and recommended awards today and I look forward to seeing if there is more to come from ASUS ROG over the coming months.
Big thanks to ASUS ROG for sending the CROSSHAIR VI HERO in for review.
- Fantastic performance on the Ryzen AM4 platform
- Comes with AM3 and AM4 cooler mountings for maximum compatibility
- Supports LN2 pots with AM3 mountings (a life saver for me personally)
- Best memory support we have seen with Ryzen (so far)
- Looks brilliant and has more RGB than you can shake a stick at (including 2 x RGB headers)
- Tons of storage options and rear I/O real estate
- Worth the money!
- Nothing ASUS are responsible for!